Date of Observation: 01/23/2022
Name: Zach Guy
Zone: Southeast Mountains
Route Description: Gothic Mountain from Washington Gulch. Traveled on south through west aspects to 12,600 ft.
Observed avalanche activity: Yes
Avalanches: Skier triggered a shallow wet-ish loose sluff that ran about 900 vertical feet down a steep SW facing chute, small in size, but large enough to take you for a ride. There was a small natural loose dry that ran yesterday from an adjacent slope.
Weather: Gorgeous sunny day. Inverted temps. Light ridgetop winds, no snow transport observed anywhere in the zone.
Snowpack: Storm snow has settled to 2″ or 3″. We found isolated drifts up to 15″ thick along the summit ridge of Gothic from previous east winds blowing up the face. The drifts formed on rocks on west-facing terrain, so they weren’t a hazard here.
Further January weak layer documentation: The facets on south aspects are capped by a thick, stout crust with occasional percolation columns into the weak layer. There are small radiation recrystallization facets on the surface; I suspect they got cooked today? Westerly aspects look similar to east aspects from yesterday but with thinner or non-existent wind crusts capping the facets. Tested for deeper instabilities in a shallow west-facing slope and got unreactive results, although the basal weak layer was embedded in talus and not continuous across the pit.